DIY DIVA
DIY diva

Roadblocks

January 15, 2014 | 62 Comments | Uncategorized
DIY diva

A lot of times what you read here is simply a written manifestation of shit I have done. Like, I have built a thing -> I tell you about it. I have chased a chicken around my backyard -> I tell you about it. It is deceptively easy, given that I fill up a lot of my minutes doing things. I don’t have to dig deep into my psyche to find some philosophical topic to talk about. I don’t have to plan for what I’m going to write, which is good, because I spend most of my time planning for what I am going to actually be doing.

But then what happens is holidays and snowstorms and the fever to end all fevers, and I realize that in the last month or so, I have not actually done a lot of things. I mean. I did a lot of sleeping. And a lot of shoveling.

That’s… pretty much it.

And since I haven’t been doing things I’ve been spending that time thinking about why I’m not doing things. It’s been a nice, introspective way to start the new year. But, frankly, I’d rather be hitting things with a hammer.

Here’s the thing about roadblocks: sometimes if you ignore them– just pretend they aren’t there– you can plow right through them without a backward glance. And sometimes with roadblocks you have to take a moment to recognize them. Call them by name. Acknowledge that they exist. And then you can move them aside and go along your merry way. I’ve run into a lot of the latter recently, so here are a few of the projects I want to be working on, and the things that are standing in my way.

The Master Bath

Untitled
Since the get-go over a year ago, this project has been going in fits and starts. Mostly fits. Hiring the demo crew to help clear it out a few weeks ago was a huge step forward, but I’m having a hard time getting beyond that, and here’s why:

  1. I need the advice of a plumber and I haven’t called one yet. I haven’t called one yet because of a.) holidays, b.) snowstorms, and c.) I’m just finally getting back to work after being sick, and I can’t reasonably take a day off right now to meet the plumber. (Also, my favorite plumbers don’t work in this area which means finding a vetting a new one.)
  2. There are some problem areas that I haven’t figured out what to do with yet. [MORE...]
  3. I can’t “see” it. Projects go quickest and best when I can envision the end result (or at least a few steps ahead of where I’m at) and I’m just not there with this one yet.

What I should probably do:

  1. Uh. Call the effing plumber. Well, find one first. Then call them.
  2. Again. Call the effing plumber. His recommendation will help sort out 85% of the “problem areas.”
  3. Start buying stuff, and make some small forward progress. Start with: a cabinet to refinish for the vanity, floor and wall tile samples, a tub.

The 2014 Plan

I’ve got big plans for this year that involve a lot of projects and even more planting and harvesting than last year. And guess what? You can’t do that shit on the fly. This farm is teaching me all kinds of planning and patience. But I don’t have an actual actionable list yet, and here’s why:

  1. Fevers are bad for planning things.
  2. I’m not sure where I want to spend my money, especially because I’m not sure how much a lot of things will cost. (For example, my whole year looks different if I decide to pony up for tractor this spring.)
  3. There are a lot of things I need to research, and research takes time. Which means instead of spending a couple of hours writing a list, I need like a hundred hours to learn everything I need to know about being a farmer.
  4. I don’t give planning credit as “real work” (because I’m not hitting something with a hammer) so I often feel guilty about taking a few hours down work on my list. And, honestly, I don’t feel as good about my progress when I’m done planning as I do when I’m done demoing.

What I should probably do:

  1. Avoid all human contact so I never get sick again.
  2. Use my time more wisely: using an hour over my lunch break at work or other times when I couldn’t be hitting things with a hammer to plan.
  3. Bribery. (If you get the plan done, you can buy yourself a new tool. There. Now go do it.)

Fixing My Garage Opener

Uh. So maybe I should tell you guys what happened to the motor of my garage opener, but, honestly, it was probably less than legal, and let’s just say that there was a small fire and maybe one of the parts in the motor got fried. I’ve been manually opening and closing the door for a couple of weeks now, and I really need to get it fixed, but:

  1. It’s not broken enough that I know I can’t fix it and need to call in the repair person, but I don’t know enough about electronics for it to be a quick fix.

What I should probably do:

  1. I mean, seriously? Just call the place and get it fixed or replaced. Sometimes I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me.

Telling Better Stories

It’s hard to believe, but the very first post I ever wrote about my house adventures was in December of 2004. That means this is my tenth year blogging about the sometimes-stupid sometimes-awesome shit I do to houses. That’s a lot of years.

In that time I’ve had a lot of different thoughts about what I’d like to do with this website. There was certainly a time where I thought I might treat it more like a business– spend a lot of time worrying about SEO and how to boost traffic and get my shit pinned or tweeted or liked– and there are rules to how you do that. To how frequently you post, to how you title things and what keywords you use, to pinning your own stuff and using the right ad networks, but you know what? I fucking hate rules.

What I like is telling stories. I don’t think the world needs more how to articles, or sponsored posts, or beautifully styled and edited photos. Not because there’s anything wrong with those things, just because there is already a lot of them out there. But I don’t see nearly as much authenticity, and just good old-fashioned storytelling, as I’d like to… so if I’m going to spend my time and my voice putting something out there on the Internet, that’s what I want it to be.

Here’s what’s standing in my way:

  1. Being a better storyteller means something more than pounding out a few hundred words just to get some content up on the website because it’s been three days since I’ve posted anything and the world is going to end. But that shit takes time, and revision, and it takes a hell of a lot longer than I’m used to. (I mean, you’ve read what I write on here… most the time I don’t even proofread it.)
  2. The redesign of this website has given me fifteen new gray hairs. Honestly, I’ve been working on it since JULY, and even though I had a great experience with the designer who did my last redesign, this time I’m pretty sure she took my money and ran. Getting the look and feel of the site to reflect the content is important to me, so I’m trying to figure out where to best spend my time instead of just frowning angrily at my inbox waiting to hear from the designer who hasn’t emailed me back in three months.
  3. Writers block. There is at least one big topic I’ve been avoiding for the last year, and while I don’t particularly want to write about it, I find that the more important authenticity is for me, the more difficult it is to just tell you guys bits and pieces of my story.

What I probably need to do:

  1. Commit to making some decisions about the site redesign, get them done, and then cut my losses and find another designer to help me implement them. Soon.
  2. Do something fun and different. My holiday video this year was a good example of that. (Don’t worry, I’m done drinking and singing until next Christmas.) But after ten years I’d hate to be the old dog that can’t learn new tricks, so I might be mixing up the type of things I post here in 2014.
  3. Talk about it.

There are probably a dozen other projects that I’m having a hard time making progress on right now, but these are the ones that are weighing most heavily on me at the moment. However, taking some time to talk about what’s standing in my way has helped me figure out what I need to do to move forward. Plus, you know, nothing like admitting it to the general public to give a person a little motivation to get their ass in gear.

What about you guys? Anything you’re stuck on this year?

DIY diva

    Comments

  • TrixieB


    Kit, your site is amazing. Your posts are perfect. Yours is the ONLY blog I follow, not just because we share a passion for breaking things with a hammer, but because you are smart, funny, informative and well-spoken. You write like you speak, which is a rare thing. So whatever changes you feel you WANT to make, fine. But do not change the tone and content for us. We love you the way you are.

  • TrixieB


    Oh, and as for being stuck? Still working on that master bath, 13 months and counting. But we CAN bathe now, for which I am surely grateful. And it could be that MANY other projects have been started and not completed in that time. I get bored easily. Especially after the “Smash everything with a hammer” part is done.

  • KC


    Well lets see – I vowed at the beginning of last summer not to start anything new until I finished four dozen half-done projects. And then, I didn’t really get a lot done last summer… My winter goal is:

    About 8 years ago I yanked out all the cheapest of cheap molding in my finished basement. I even have most of the wood molding I intend to replace it with. I just need to DO IT. I did finally get the tile on the bathroom floor down there last week, so starting from that corner, I need to get the molding done. Before I have to turn attention back to the farm again in April.

  • Emily


    No fire, but my garage door has not been working for more than a year. Wood is easier. I should call someone.

  • Holley


    I love that you aren’t trying to turn your blog into a business. I regularly follow about 6 blogs total, and only one of those is a viable business (thankfully, they retained their voice and I love their content). There are so many that I started to read, thoroughly enjoyed, and stopped reading the second they began following all the rules for money-making. It changes everything, and the blog posts become so much more… sterile.

    All that to say, THANK YOU for choosing to keep being you! You’re the entire reason that we’re here, typos and all. I’m so glad that I was reading Ugly Duckling House around the time you guys did the Dueling DIY thing. I probably read about a year’s worth of your posts within a week. Good bloggers are surprisingly hard to find, and you’re totally one of them.

    • Tiffany


      I was just about to comment saying almost the exact same thing you said! I devoured your site once I was led here from Ugly Duckling House and I now have you attached to my reader so I never miss a post! I read your blog usually while I am at work and I have had to close my door a couple of times to not get odd looks from laughing out loud at your antics. Your blog is seriously one of my favorites and it is because you are so genuinely yourself and not “trying” for posts just to have something to write about.

      • Kit


        Sarah at UDH is one of my favorites! I love it when people have come over from her site. Thanks for stopping by and for sticking around.

        • Slinky


          Ha! Now I shall go the other way around and wander over there from over here.

          I too love the “realness” of your blog over most diy type sites. I don’t want the sanitized version where everything is just awesome and perfect and all about the paint color they picked that perfectly matches the painting they are using for a “focus” piece. I’ll take sledge hammers and tractors and mice on your head any day. Also, donkeys.

  • Jacob


    To be honest, I’m pretty sure you are just getting the feeling of having soooooo many things on your list and not the amount of time you want. I have really been experiencing this this winter (shorter days, colder, longer work hours, etc.) and I think it is just one of those things you just have to power through. What I have noticed with my house, is that as long as I get one thing done a day, whether that is planning, writing something down, swinging a hammer, I ultimately feel better.

    Oh, and my other issue is that I need more money for more tools and project completions, although, I can’t complain too much.

    Just continue working with smaller goals in mind and you will create the motivation you need to see the projects completed.

  • Meg


    I found you the same time I got my first flock. You taught me how to build the stand for my coop. I’ve been loving your honest, frank, brash, and funny posts ever since! I’m about to buy my first house and in my budget they need tlc. But you make me realize it’s ok to have long running projects. Your honest about the ups and down of diy. After reading this stuff, I know I can do it or learn how how. When the house is a version of done we both know we did what we could on our own and looked for pros when we needed them. How cool is that! Not too many girls are as cool as us!

    • bonnie


      Since I’m actually pretty close to you, if I remember right, I’ll tell you that I’ve used Benson’s plumbing out of Northville a few times (repairs only) and really like them. Their office staff cracks me up. I’ve also heard good things about Olde Towne (Ypsi/ann arbor), and gotten a quote from them on a Big Project, and liked them, but haven’t used them myself yet.

      As for garage doors, I’ve heard good things about Crawford, but haven’t used em myself.

      • bonnie


        Benson’s = Genson’s. Autocorrect loves to change it to random other names, sorry.

      • Kit


        So helpful! Thanks Bonnie.

    • Kit


      True story Meg! Long running projects ARE okay, knowing they are going to be long-running makes it far less frustrating than when you think it should be done in a weekend. And when you DIY your house will always be a reflection of your own awesome… that’s VERY cool.

  • Patty Brenner


    Yours is one of my favorite blogs because of your authenticity, so whatever you do, please keep that :-) Also, I *love* seeing a woman do stuff – I’m a wee bit older than you (probably old enough to be your mother, lol), but you have given me the confidence to tackle some diy stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise. At the risk of being trite and resurrecting a phrase that should probably stay buried, You go girl!

    Patty

    • Kit


      Hey, encouragement is never trite!

  • Patty Brenner


    And oh yeah … I’m stuck on getting all the cr@p cleaned up from the acre around my house. For some reason, I seem to think that any surface sheltered by trees or carports should just be piled with junk to be dealt with later … then the horses come in and ‘rearrange’ it for me, grrrr.

  • Carla


    Since I am the only DIYer in my family/friends it is great for me to see projects that aren’t done in a week! People I know don’t get how I survive a not completed kitchen for months. I need to know I am not the freak (you know what I mean). Love your blog the way it is.

  • mcgrim


    Whatever you do, keep your sense of humor. It’s what keeps us readers coming back for more, and you from going off the deep end.

  • Sarah


    I love your blog just the way it is. I read it because you talk just like I do and you are genuine. You’re not trying to make a buck and following all the “rules”. I love it, and glad to hear you are feeling better!

  • Juliet


    Your blog is wonderful. It will grow and change as you grow and change. It’s an extension of you, and that’s what people are responding to. Your successes and and roadblocks are the same ones that we all have. And you talk about them (on your own time and in your own way) as you see fit. And, seriously, get a new garage door opener installed by someone. Just pony up and do it. I finally bit the bullet on that one rather than do it myself, and I don’t really know when I’ve felt better about spending a relatively small amount of money (for home improvement) and been so giggly happy that I didn’t have to clear off my car. It’s been months now, and it hasn’t gotten old.

    • Kit


      You’re so right. I feel like I shouldn’t HAVE to replace the garage door opener because it’s like a year old, but IT IS ALSO BROKEN. Clearly it needs to be replaced. My logic gets a little faulty sometimes…

  • lee-ann


    Stuck. Stuck. Stuck. Oh yes, I am regularly stuck in something. First I have to notice and acknowledge it. Then I usually write about it (journal) so I can ‘hear’ what I am telling myself about whatever I’m stuck about. Usually there is some fear about something, which I don’t typically see untiI write it down. Or some I-don’t-want-to. Like dealing with the mice in my cabin, or not wanting to call for estimates to cut down a tree, or thinking I ‘should’ be able to do something myself, when it would probably, truthfully, be good to have some help. The fears are tricky beasts. Once I see them they’re easier to poke onto submission.

    I look forward to your posts, with whatever you have to say/sing :)

    • Kit


      That is exactly what this post did for me! Writing it down definitely helps get over a roadblock.

  • Jess


    I love your blog. I appreciate hearing from a woman my age who is tackling true DIY home/farm improvement and not just putting up some wainscotting or making her own laundry detergent (which is nice, but not what I need right now). Your projects are similar to what I’m tackling, and I’m also single so its comforting to hear your stories and it gives me courage. I’ve now done a whole basement reno and when I hit roadblocks I would read about you hitting an old barn foundation (!), or a never ending pile of debris, and still soldiering on, and that helped me overcome my hurdles. I’ve referred to you as my “spirit animal” on more than one occassion (hopefully you read that for the praise it is). It’s cool if you have to make some changes, things evolve and god knows if you can get some cash out of this I would never begrudge you that, but I’m relieved to hear you want to keep the storytelling and the hammer-work going.

    • Kit


      I will gladly be your spirit animal! That’s so awesome. Nothing is really changing around here, except I hope that some of the things I write feel a little less slapped together than they do sometimes when I’m not focused on them… my projects aren’t as glamorous as homemade laundry detergent, but SOMEBODY has to make the sawdust too!

  • Jen


    I officially want to marry you. Just finished watching your power tools Christmas carol (so I’m a little behind too) and the purple stained mouth just about did me in. As for the roadblocks…to stay on topic….PLUMBING SUCKS! I’ve been doing dishes in the bathroom sink for THREE MONTHS because….plumbing sucks. It is my last frontier. My mountain. My ROADBLOCK. I have learned enough about almost everything else. I can rewire shit, I can mitre shit, I can lay down a floor single handed. I find demo to be therapeutic. But when it comes to water, forget it. I refuse to even look at the plumbing chapter in my Home Improvement 1-2-3 book (which for some odd reason has a lot of shit about Canada in it?). Perhaps it’s because the father of my children was a plumber (and is known to wear white short shorts)? Or is it the jackass plumber I dated later on who cheated on me? Probably not, because really I could give a crap about either of these men. But, you’ve given me something to ponder on and maybe, come spring, I’ll be able to sit on the toilet without looking at crusty plates on the vanity.

    • Peggy P


      Father of my children! Love it. That’s how I have referred to my ex for over 20 years. My holdovers are an aversion to dried dill and anything related to golf. At least those don’t get in the way of all my DIY projects–right now the list is focused on the garden. Need to tackle a few things ’cause we’re in a deep drought here in CA.

    • Kit


      I know right? I was like… how purple are my teeth right now? Aw, fuck it. It’s Christmas.

      I do find the things I avoid most (starting the big chicken coop in the barn is a good example) because I EXPECT them to be hard, tend to be no big deal when I finally get started on them. Hopefully that’s true of your plumbing too! (And mine, for that matter.)

  • Jake


    “But I don’t see nearly as much authenticity, and just good old-fashioned storytelling, as I’d like to”

    For the record, the above is what keeps me coming back to your site. Although I’ve had to cut back on reading it at work since there has been a snort/laugh on more than one occasion and working in a cube farm those can be rather hard to explain :-)

    As for stuck, I’ve got so many things I want to do on my little 2 acres and so many of those things are long term and like you I don’t do well with long term. I like to find something I want to do and then knock it out..

  • PamNH


    Kit,
    I have been following your blog since before you sold your 1st house; first time commenting.
    I am in New Hampshire on 12 acres on a dirt road off a back road, with 6 ducks and an 18 month old Golden Doodle, and a fairly handy husband who loves tools.
    First, make some darn money off the blog! If it costs money, it should make money. So many bloggers lately have apologized for making money from their blogs. Why? Look at the time invested in entertaining other people. Reward yourself.
    Money buys tractors, tubs, toilets, the expensive time and expertise of electricians, plumbers and garage door repair people! It also keeps donkeys in chow and vets. In my experience, money relieves “most” non people related stresses.
    Second, what are my roadblocks? I have been trying to get my kitchen remodeled for approx. 5 years. The dining room walls need to come down to open the space to 31×16. There are 2 sets of French doors to a deck, a huge walk out bay window and a huge brick fireplace in the space; a lot of beautiful features to work with. In 5 years, I cannot seem to come up with the “perfect” plan, mostly in regard to the island.
    During that time, we have built a carriage house with a 2 bay garage, a workshop and a 24×26 loft. Then we remodeled the powder room. Last summer it was building a new shed for the riding mower & generator plus storage.
    The running joke is that one of the guys will turn to me and say “This would make a great kitchen!” every time they complete a shell. So darn funny.
    I designed these projects & they are “perfect” because I see them in my mind like you do. Then I sketch and plan them on paper and turn it over to my husband and a carpenter friend to build. They are so talented and will do and build everything in the kitchen except the soapstone counters.
    I work at the kitchen design from time to time, get overwhelmed, then paralyzed and move on to the next project. I’m getting other things done, but not the project nearest to my heart. I worry that I will not LOVE the design or that it won’t function well. I’m so aware that it has to be right the first time because it is so expensive and this should be my last kitchen remodel.
    I’ll be spending time on researching the kitchen project today, yet another “Groundhog Day”.
    Third, in the area of “giggly happy” (I loved that,Juliet!)that I spent the money: the garage, workshop and last summer we put in 2 granite staircases: one in a stone retaining wall & one on front of the house. Love those solid stairs.
    Thanks for every single posting Kit, even when you are stuck, you are STILL helping someone out here:-)

    • Margaret


      I totally agree with you on this one. I feel guilty getting so much enjoyment out of reading while contributing nothing that I have even clicked on your ads before. What do you get off those, .0001 cents?
      I am in no position to give life advice but I will share one nugget that helps me, when I am being pulled in different directions. When prioritizing tasks, ask yourself, will doing this make my life easier? Or will it keep me warmer. Cold weather is a bitch.
      I’m not a DIY ‘er,never will be. I don’t care what you say but I enjoy how you say it. Thanks
      Margaret

      • Kit


        You don’t even have to click the ads! They pay per 1000 pageviews, so just by coming to the site you’re totally supporting my tool addiction. And while a little extra padding to the tool fund helps me justify some of the time I spend on this website, as a reader you don’t owe me anything (clicks, views or otherwise)… its awesome to know that people enjoy my stories, and it makes me more creative, pushes me to challenge myself, and allows me to look at things through a different lens. That all comes from you guys!

    • Kit


      I love it when someone who has been reading that long finally comments! First, I probably want to just come live in your carriage house. Second, when I’m stuck on the design of something, I’m usually willing to pay one of my favorite architects to give me some design advice (just a starting-off point) OR a lot of kitchen and bath places will give you some different configurations for free. Might help you get unstuck! Good luck on those projects, they all sound like a blast.

  • kelsey


    posts like this are the reason i love your site, well that and donkey pictures!
    you’re right, there are a million sites that have beautiful photos that make my own feel inadequate, how-to’s that have been done a million times, and sponsored posts that i won’t even get started on, your story telling and humor is what keeps this reader coming back!
    Keep doing what you’re doing you’re amazing and inspiring and you have made me (much to my husband’s chagrin)want to own donkeys and nuggets.

  • GG


    Whatever you’re writing, I’m reading. And oh yes I am so so stuck on so many things. You are not alone and you certainly serve as an inspiration. Keep doing you, tackle things as you can, we are all in your corner!!

  • Karen Cutler


    I love your website, also, and look forward to your stories and ranting. You may be overthinking a lot of this. It’s refreshing to read what comes from your gut…misspelling and grammatical errors, included. So on another subject…someone handed me an auction catalog for an event in Idaho. There were tons of tractors, including vintage John Deere models. Keep your eyes open and you may be able to pick up your new best friend for a song! In addition to lifting and hauling, it will eliminate the shoveling and issues clearing your road. We bought a used model on-line from Georgia and had it shipped out west. Not that expensive and we couldn’t survive without it!

  • Sam


    So just in case you haven’t got that we all love you yet, let me just reiterate that fact. We all love, unpinterestworthy photos and all.

    I genuinely use you as my inspiration to get shit done. When I got so sick of wondering what the hell was hiding behind that stupid plastic panel above my (rented) living room window, I thought of that video of you with the drywall, and said screw it. I tore that puppy down and properly repaired the massive hole it was hiding. I replaced my bathroom floor by myself, I’ve built and stained furniture on my own because I’ve seen you do it, and know that I can do it as well.

    Never stop being yourself.

    Oh, and buy the damn tractor, you know you want to.

    • Kit


      I love it! Stories like this inspire me to keep going as much as my stories encourage you. (Also, you’re right, I should just buy the damn tractor.)

  • bonnie


    (I appear to have replied to someone else’s comment above instead of posting my own- sorry! damn smartphones.)

    I agree with the above posters – you’re doing fine, we love you, stop stressing out on our account. :)

  • Stacy


    I don’t know how I stumbled on your blog awhile back, but when I did, I was hooked. I too am female, I too love power tools. (It is really common that I am more handy than the men in my life and you make me fell less alone in that.) I too am intimidated by my router. I dreamnt of making a broom like you can…. I am happiest when I get to saw something. I went back as far as I could go and read all your posts. I agree, what you have is unique and more authentic than most blogs. Thank You

    • Kit


      Thank you, Stacy. And I think we need to make “I’m happiest when I get to saw something” into T-shirts!

  • hjc


    Me too on everything everyone has already said about why we read what you write. Keep being you (it’s all you can do anyway!).

    • Kit


      True story. I’ve tried being a different less-crazy person… didn’t work.

  • Anne Art


    Love your irreverent and bold vocabulary, never change that. What is your ‘regular’ job?

    • Kit


      Business consulting. I use my irreverent and bold vocabulary there too… half the time they’re not sure what to do with me ;)

  • Kristen


    I LOVE your stories. I tell them to my husband & friends because I marvel at all that you. You are kicking ass on so many levels & I admire that. Please don’t stop telling your stories.

  • Leslie


    Right on. What keeps me coming back to your blog is that you really do it (all things) your own way. I enjoy hitching a ride through the blogosphere.

  • Kimberly


    Your blog is so far the only one I read. I love how your site is set up; the pages of posts that I can go forward or backwards through, and the easy ability to search for a post. I find normal blog navigation to be very repugnant, to the point that I can’t read more than a post or two. Also you are funny and sincere at times, so reading about your life is enjoyable, and at times inspiring.

    My roadblock is my job. I hate it, and I hate where I live, but just finding another job to apply too is difficult for me. I feel overwhelmed, by search sites and then having to fill out all of my information again and again and again, to just be rejected by programmed search functions. I just want a job I don’t hate, and to pay off my student loans and buy a small house so I don’t have to share walls and ventilation with people who smoke in my nonsmoking building. I don’t want to move until I have a new job in a State I like better since I don’t want to have to sign a new lease, just too hopeful move to someplace better. I also fear that nothing will make me happy, that something new will not be enough for me. And a puppy, I really want a dog, I know you don’t like them, but I want someone who will always be willing to go for a walk with me, which I can’t have with my current job and where I live.

    • Kit


      Being stuck in a job you hate is the absolute worst. Sometimes fear and all of the work that comes with change can be a huge roadblock… it’s hard to say what will make you happy, but I’m all for moving forward just for the sake of doing something different and learning new things about yourself. (Maybe it won’t make you happier, but I bet you’d learn something, and it would be a step in a direction that will get you to a happier place down the road!) Also, get that puppy. There are so many animals out there just waiting to give you their love… it will change your life, for sure!

  • Laura


    Kit, I’m the person who inadvertently handed you your label for this house, the “unexpected adventure,” (from your Feb. 8 2012 post) and I just wanted to say it’s going, um, about like you’d expect. (Don’t hit me.) A lot of crazy, a lot of tired, a lot of road blocks. But you’ve also brought cute donkeys, silly chickens, awesome art work, hard work, liberal amounts of swearing, songs about power tools, and a sense of humor to the whole thing, and that’s what your blog readers love you for. (yes. I love you for the swearing.) I am always encouraged by your independence and your determination to get things done. There’s a lot of people out here in blog land with confidence in you, no matter what direction you choose.

    • Kit


      The Unexpected Adventure! That was so perfectly fitting, and I’m glad you’ve stayed along for the ride. It has gone pretty much exactly and also nothing at all like I would have expected.

  • Dar


    Seems, from reading the comments, that your ‘angst’ is therapy none the less for many, myself included as in “if Kit can do it, I can at least give it a try”. I can almost guarantee those who love the honesty of your posts will stick like glue. Never underestimate the value of being upfront and genuine…I only read two blogs besides Pinterest…yours and Aunt Peaches as she is as genuine as you and as funny too though a city dweller and a different type of DIYer. Get well and get on with it. Cheers!

    • Kit


      “Get well and get on with it” I also need that on a T-shirt! Or maybe tattooed somewhere on my body.

  • Guerrina


    I follow a few blogs that do advertise, but they have retained their integrity and individuality and you can, too. You help keep me grounded, challenge me and make me laugh! I don’t begrudge you the opportunity to make money and thus continue to inspire and entertain us all. Granted I do not know “the rules” to all that.

    My roadblock is generally money. That simple. No lack of items on project lists!

  • Chris


    Been getting ready to do my own home renovation ( office into loft/bedroom kind of deal) and was looking for tips. Things have been cluttered in my house ( it’s small hence making a loft bedroom to capitalize on square footage and was thinking about going to this company for a portable storage container. Have you ever done this, or heard of this being useful?

  • Jess


    tl/dr: Kit should write a book.

    Somehow I imagine that your general desire to be out hitting things with a hammer would make this difficult, but….I bet you could and should write a book. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m categorizing you, but you’re like a lightning smart Bridget Jones with her shit together and a Makita. Or Bill Bryson. Or a far cooler Dan Needles and Letters from Wingfield Farm. I can completely see your blog posts and writing style transitioning into something like that. You make me legitimately laugh out loud (and sometime snort tea through my nose), and when I first found your blog I spent several days glued to my laptop reading the entire thing from the very beginning (and you’d been blogging for QUITE some time already at that point, so it was not a small amount of time to spend glued to my laptop)

    The author-to-reader direct relationship illusion of a book is always most appealing to me. One of the odd things about being a person READING a blog is that we generally read it because we identify with the author. We like you, we feel like we would be friends in real life, you know – we know that we sort of fall into the group of “fans”, but we don’t like to think of ourselves in those terms.

    With blogs, I often find that I dislike the comments section because it destroys that (admittedly false but enjoyable) sense that the author is communicating directly with you, the reader, and no one else – like sitting down to a newsy letter from a good friend. Comments sections, for me at least, and maybe I’m just weird and spend way too much time working to cultivate a proper social life, make it obvious that the author is communicating with a group of “us”, rather than just “me”, and it spoils it just a bit.

    I have no idea why I’m rambling on about this. It’s probably because it’s Friday night at twenty to nine and I only just got home from work and am cross-eyed from research, and am now sitting somewhat exhausted on my couch, wishing I could go hit things with a hammer :)

    • Kit


      If you’re going to categorize me as a “lightning smart Bridget Jones with her shit together” I’ll totally take that! (Not sure about having my shit together, but I can fake it… ) I totally agree without about the author/reader relationship with books. Blogs are a bit more, uh, voyeuristic? Books feel more intimate. I don’t know if I have a good enough story to tell when it comes to writing my own book though. Maybe this farm will give it to me… I can’t help but feel that if there’s a story, right now I’m in the middle of it!

  • SarahB


    Long time reader, first time poster.
    You’re preaching to the choir Babe. I just moved 5000 miles from the corporate rat race in the tropics to a 100 year old tumbledown mud-brick and stone homestead in freezing Eastern Europe. My house is a leaking, freezing building site. No shower for the last 3 months (although I do have an indoor toilet now), no kitchen, only got lighting a week ago. Every wall needs rendering, every floor leveling and every inch insulating – before I even get to the decorating. …and now I’m panicking because it’s time to start the seedlings, and my hen house isn’t ready, and we are forecast serious snow from the end of this week for the next month.
    Can I get off my ass? … Not today anyway.
    You rock. Your site rocks. Don’t beat yourself up.

  • Kelly


    Story is key Kat! Stick with that as you are a great story teller!

  • The Tiny Homestead


    I’m not much of a commenter these days, but I’m still reading. Always enjoy hearing your updates- whatever they are.

  • Slinky


    My roadblock right now is winter. All the projects I really want to get moving on require warmer weather. I need heat and ventilation. Today is a balmy 10 degrees outside. Woo. In the meantime, I’m trying to work on lower priority projects, but I’m just not super motivated about them.

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